Why do some companies thrive with the Salesforce platform while others stagnate?
I’ve spent 13+ years working in the Salesforce consulting ecosystem, and this question still comes up time and time again. Over the years I’ve spoken to and worked with nearly a thousand Salesforce customers, ranging from one person startups to multi-billion dollar international companies, that have used Salesforce to replace antiquated legacy systems, to eliminate manual processes, or to completely transform their business. I’ve also spoken with many customers who feel “stuck”. Stuck with an overly complex system, or one that simply isn’t living up to the expectations they had when they chose the Salesforce platform.
Salesforce does a fantastic job selling customers on the art of the possible — and rightfully so given the deeply capable and extensible platform it is. However, Salesforce’s ease of customization can result in a system going off the rails without the proper process, knowledge, and controls in place.
In general, you can build as much functionality as you like without paying Salesforce more, which is great for customers. The more you can build and automate on a platform you’re already paying for, the better return you’ll get. However, building for the sake of building doesn’t always lead to the best results.
How do companies find that middle ground so they get closer to the art of the possible without getting stuck? How do customers of different shapes and sizes manage their Salesforce system, organize their team, work with partners and create processes so their platform thrives and doesn’t stagnate?
I and the rest of the 10K team have our own anecdotal thoughts on these questions, but we wanted a way to prove them out and see if there were other factors we hadn’t thought about. So we enlisted a third party research firm to help us survey a diverse set of Salesforce customers to find out which were the most important practices and factors to achieving the greatest possible success with Salesforce.
Today, we are releasing this research to the broader ecosystem in an ebook entitled “From Project to Program: Best Practices for Highly Successful Salesforce Implementations,” now available on our website at https://www.10kview.com/salesforce-project-to-program-research.
Of the 8 key findings and many statistics in the research report, there were lots of things that we expected. For example, the fact that 91% of companies with a Salesforce Center or Excellence reported the highest level of ROI was not a huge surprise, and sadly, neither was the fact that nearly 40% of Salesforce customers don’t have one. However, I was surprised about the very strong correlation of daily or weekly release frequency to high ROI, as well as the fact that 0% of companies who had never worked with a Salesforce consultant reported the highest level of ROI.
We want to start a “Project to Program” movement within the Salesforce ecosystem. To change the mindset of those customers and consultants who are constantly chasing down the next project, and help them see the forest for the trees. We are sharing this research with all Salesforce customers and partners with high hopes that it will help them take a look at their own practices and perhaps improve their own experience and results with the Salesforce platform. There are a number of tangible steps any organization can take to move to a program mindset which will improve their chances of success. Even if we can help just a few with these findings, we can help that movement grow.
For those interested in seeing how they stack up against the successful companies in our findings, we’re offering a free 30-minute assessment to compare existing practices against best practices. The goal is to provide strategic and tactical advice on tools, delivery processes, team structure, and other factors that will give you the greatest chance at success with the Salesforce platform. You can request your free assessment by filling out the form at the bottom of our research site.
Since this is an exercise in learning, if you have ideas or stories about what has worked for you when it comes to building a Salesforce program (or what to avoid), please share!